A social robot is simply one that’s designed for interacting with people and meeting their needs.
It will currently cost around $499 (€370).
Jibo’s physical appearance and movements are vaguely reminiscent of Luxo Jr., the famed Pixar lamp.
Its “head” is a display with embedded cameras so that it can perceive its environment, and its segmented body animates itself by way of three swiveling sections.
Jibo doesn’t have any mobility or manipulation capabilities — it can’t pick up dropped items and you’ll need to physically move it from place to place — but Dr. Breazeal told us that this is a very intentional design for keeping its price point low.
Mobility and manipulation are among the more complex parts of robot design, and a functional stationary robot may help set the stage for a time when people welcome autonomous mobile robots into the home with open arms.
Jibo runs a Linux-based system to facilitate some cool at-home capabilities. You can check them out in the video above (along with a comment from Dr. Breazeal). Developers are also welcome to get in on the action to create Jibo apps,which are called “Skills”.